Comments on Letter from Raja Ehsan Aziz to W.J. Lake

NOTES: The lawyer hired by Raja Ehsan Aziz, whose name was William James Lake, died in 1984 of an unknown illness after a long confinement in the Veterans Hospital. AIDS had not yet been identified at that time and it seems possible that his death was related to AIDS.

Lake was an active attorney who had a large number of clients, but most of his clients were poor people who did not or could not pay. When a lawyer dies, usually his cases are taken over by another lawyer, but in the case of Lake, no lawyer could be found who was willing to take his cases.

As a result, his case files wound up in the office of Hyman Gamso, an administrator for the Appellate Division of the State of New York at 27 Madison Avenue, New York NY. I found out about this in late 1985 and contacted Mr. Gamso. Since I was the only person who had expressed any interest in these cases, he allowed me to look at the files. The file in the Honzagool case contained the pleadings filed in court plus several letters from Raja Ehsan Aziz to Lake, of which this is one.

There are several noteworthy things about this letter. Lake was hired to secure the custody of Shamema. Yet nowhere in the letter is there any mention that Honzagool wants her daughter, Shamema. Shamema's name is mentioned once, although misspelled, but not in the context of wanting her back.

However, he does speak of a divorce case involving Honzagool. No divorce case was ever filed in the United States. Honzagool returned to Pakistan on August 28, 1982 and never returned to America, so the case which the letter says was filed December 16, 1982 must have been filed in Pakistan.

From this and from numerous other circumstances, it has become apparent that Raja Ehsan Aziz did not want the child brought to Pakistan. Rather, he wanted for Honzagool to be divorced from her husband so that either he or his cousin/brother Raja Abdul Rashid could marry her.

He states that Sloan "was actually indulging in criminal trespass of Honzagool's home when she was all alone with her mother." However, Honzagool was not alone. Her two identical twin brothers, Wazir and Nisar, were present, as they were on leave from the military. Only Nazir Ahmed, the one weak-minded brother whom Raja Ehsan Aziz is able to control, was absent.

The newspaper articles to which Raja Ehsan Aziz refers were all written by either himself or his wife in Islamabad/Rawalpindi. No reporter in Chitral where the events were taking place submitted such an article to the newspapers.

According to the local villagers in Damik, Honzagool herself was saying that she wanted to return to America. She was brought from Damik to Chitral Proper and kept in the home of the son of Umra Khan, the man whose father had become famous for fighting against the British during the siege of Chitral in 1895. By 1983, the son was a very old man and he died shortly thereafter.

As to the statement that "Honzagool is expected to secure her divorce from Sloan in the next few weeks", in fact the divorce was not granted. The judge, Main Hafiz-ur-Rehman, denied the divorce. As a result, the judge was murdered in March, 1984. Raja Ehsan Aziz file a new case for divorce in Rawalpindi Family Court, even though Honzagool had never lived there. Several judges of that court also refused to grant the divorce but on June 1, 1985 Raja Ehsan Aziz found a corrupt judge named Shauket Nawaz Gul who was willing to grant the divorce. Honzagool was then married to Raja Abdul Rashid on the same day, without waiting the compulsory three months period of Edat required by Islamic law.

Raja Ehsan Aziz in the letter says that he is "coming to visit N.Y. sometime in Spring 1983 in connection with my Ph. D. thesis defense."

This apparently did not happen. This was a typo, because he obviously meant Spring 1984. In September 1983, because of his political agitation in connection with the Honzagool case, the name of Raja Ehsan Aziz was placed on the US State Department Watch List, which effectively prohibits him from ever obtaining a visa to come to America again.

On one point Raja Ehsan Aziz agreed with Charles and Shelby Roberts, who subsequently kidnapped Shamema. Raja Ehsan Aziz is a fundamentalist Muslim and a member of the Jamaat Islami, a fundamentalist Islamic group in Pakistan. Charles and Shelby Roberts are fundamentalist Christians and members of an equally fanatical Christian group in America. Both of them agree that Ismail Sloan is "The Devil".

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